Dressed in colonial costumes from the era, grade 5 students participated in “A Revolutionary Experience” which re-created both everyday life and the extraordinary events in the United States during colonial times.
Students rotated through each of the grade 5 classrooms, which were transformed into authentic settings from the colonial period. There, they performed, socialized and learned more about American life dating back more than 250 years. The unit was created by grade 5 teachers Todd Clarke, Erika Higgins and Ashley Pelissier.
“This was a fantastic experiential-learning opportunity for students to both re-create and immerse themselves in a pivotal time period in American history,” said Lower School Principal Jennifer Blount. “Our grade 5 teachers did a great job putting together an experience that was fun, engaging and educational.”
Here’s a look at each of the experiences students participated in during the day:
Many grade 5 parents were in attendance as the “Higgins Playhouse” presented the Pageant of the Patriots. There, students read scripts and acted out historical events which they rehearsed ahead of time, from the Boston Tea Party to Valley Forge to the Treaty of Paris. They also told the story of the creation of the Declaration of Independence and how the original 13 colonies came together to form the United States and devise the structure of its government. The students self-selected and self-directed their own plays, with minimal involvement by teachers.
Mr. Clarke’s room was set up to re-create the daily life of colonial Americans. Prior to the tavern’s opening, the students created newspaper front pages as part of their Writer’s Workshop nonfiction unit that reflected people, places, events or objects of the time, which were shared and read under candlelight while eating popular snacks from the era. They also played a board game called “Royal and Most Pleasant Game of the Goose” while learning more about the social life of colonists in that time period.
In Mrs. Pelissier’s classroom, students learned more about authentic colonial artifacts and discovered how each artifact was used during colonial times. Artifacts included a signal whistle, musket ball, quill and ink pot, square-cut nails and needle holders. Students also became spies when they deciphered a secret message using a cipher from the Revolutionary War period.